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Congress: 2008
Author(s): Issam Nofal, Omar Zimmo
Omar Zimmo, PhD, Bir Zeit University, Ramallah Palestine
AbstractWater is a particular concern of life in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions. In fact, this is the poorest region of the world in terms of water resources, both globally and per inhabitant. Indeed, water scarcity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS) is resulted mainly from the Israeli control over the vast majority of the Palestinian water resources as well as the arid and semi arid climate conditions prevailing. Therefore water scarcity in the WBGS represents a critical constraint to further expanding or even maintaining existing irrigated areas. Historically, agriculture plays an important role in the Palestinian economy and life, while, availability of water forms the most decisive factor in defining the role played by this sector. The Agricultural sector is the major consumer of water in the WBGS, utilizing up to 65% of the available water and the irrigated area constitutes less than 11% of the total Palestinian cultivated areas. The gap between demand and supply is widening while the demand for domestic and irrigation is ever increasing. Therefore, using local reclaimed sewage water in Palestine becomes one of the most cost effective alternatives for improving the efficiency of water use in agriculture. However, since treated wastewater (TWW) has so far hardly been tapped, there is a serious lack of information and practical know-how among both the water policy makers and the end users of such alternative water resources on how to best it for crop irrigation. Despite the fact that the legal and institutional frameworks for the sustainable management of TWW have been articulated in the Palestinian development plans and have been under focused in the policies and strategies of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), the enforcement of such issues are still lacking. Eventually, the re-use of TWW in agricultural production in Palestine is still on the pilot scale and the Palestinians lack the proper experience in using this resource in a safe and sound way.
2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin